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Publication numberUS3776233 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 4, 1973
Filing dateMay 17, 1971
Priority dateMay 17, 1971
Also published asCA961203A1, DE2341004A1, DE2341004C2
Publication numberUS 3776233 A, US 3776233A, US-A-3776233, US3776233 A, US3776233A
InventorsC Schaar
Original AssigneeColgate Palmolive Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Edge contourable diaper
US 3776233 A
Abstract
A contourable diaper including, a pleated fluid pervious cover sheet and a pleated fluid impervious back sheet secured to each other adjacent the lateral and longitudinal edges of the diaper. An absorbent pad is positioned intermediate the cover and back sheets and extends at least throughout the crotch region of the diaper. The diaper is transformed from a generally planar and rectangular shape to an arcuate configuration responsive to longitudinal expansion of the cover and back sheets, and the longitudinal edges of the sheets bow inwardly in at least the central region of the diaper to generally conform to the contour of an infant's body.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unlted States Patent -1 1 [111 3,776,233

Schaar 1 Dec. 4, 1973 [54] EDGE CONTOURABLE DIAPER 3,196,874 7/1965 Hrubecky 128/287 3,572,342 3/1971 [75] Inventor: Charles H. Schaar, Lake Zurich, Ill. 3 610 244 10/1971 [73] Assigneez Colgate-Palmolive Compan N 2,788,786 4/1957 Dexter 128/287 York, N.Y. Primary ExaminerCharles F. Rosenbaum [22] Flledi May 17, 1971 Attorney-Powell L. Sprunger 21] i A 1.No.: 144032 pp v 57] ABSTRACT A contourable diaper including, a pleated fluid pervi- [52] U.S. Cl. 128/287 ous cover Sheet and a leated fluid im ervious back 51 Int (:1 A6lf 13/16 p p 58 4 286 287 sheet secured to each other adjacent the lateral and 1 le o are l g longitudinal edges of the diaper. An absorbent pad is positioned intermediate the cover and back sheets and extends at least throughout the crotch region of the [56] References C'ted diaper. The diaper is transformed from a generally UNITED STATES PATENTS planar and rectangular shape to an arcuate configura- 2,910,982 11/1959 Woodward 128/284 tion responsive to longitudinal expansion of the cover 3,030,956 4/1962 Nichols 128/284 and back sheets, and the longitudinal edges Of the 3,036,573 5/ 1962 Volgtma 128/287 X sheets bow inwardly in at least the central region of 3,306,293 2/1967 Marder et a1. 128/284 the diaper to generally conform to the Contour of an 3,322,122 5/1967 Daniel 128/284 infanvs bod 3,599,640 8/1971 Larson.... 128/286 3,636,952 1/1972 George 128/287 6 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures 2 I g )2 232 228 j 228- t i i -1 g 7 A f fl ,v 222 EDGE CONTOURABLE DIAPER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION of the body in the crotch region and about the infants legs. This problem has been more pronounced in disposable diapers than in conventional cloth diapers, since the former are less pliable and do not as readily adapt to the shape of the body. Accordingly, when the standard flat rectangular disposable diapers are placed on the infant, they assume a bulky configuration in the crotch region of the baby, resulting in irritation and discomfort. Additionally,"the longitudinal edges of such diapers do not readily seal against the babys body in the crotch region and about the legs, and gaps develop through which fluid may escape.

To alleviate this problem, an expandable diaper is disclosed in my copending application Expandable Article Ser. No. 128,267, filed Mar. 26, 1971, continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 41,377, filed May 28, 1970 and now abandoned. However, it is desirable to obtain an improved fit in such diapers about the contour of the infants body, and provide a flat diaper which readily conforms to the body.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A principal feature of the present invention is the provision of a diaper of simplified construction which closely conforms to the contour of an infants body.

The diaper of the invention has a pleated fluid pervious cover sheet, and a pleated fluid impervious back sheet which is secured to the cover sheet adjacent the lateral and longitudinal edges of the diaper, with the securedsheets having a generally rectangular shape. An absorbent pad is positioned intermediate the cover and back sheets and extends at least throughout the crotch region of the diaper.

A feature of the invention is that the diaper is transformedfrom a generally planar to an arcuate shape responsive to longitudinal expansion of the back and cover sheets.

Another feature of the invention is that the longitudinal edges of the sheets bow inwardly in at least the central region of the diaper for conformation of the edges to the body's contour.

In one embodiment of the invention the diaper has expandable pad means positioned between the sheets, and includes a pair of longitudinal flaps adhered to the cover sheet in the central region of the diaper.

A further feature is that the flaps have arcuate edges extending longitudinally along the diaper for improved conformation of the expandable diaper to the body contour.

Further features will become more fully apparent in the following description of the embodiments of this invention and from the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a plan view partly broken away of the contourable diaper of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view from the backside of the diaper of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken substantiallyas indicated along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view partly broken away of the diaper of FIG. 1 with the cover and back sheets in an expanded configuration;

FIG. 5 is a plan view partly broken away of another embodiment of the present invention having an elongated absorbent pad;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view partly broken away of the diaper of FIG. 5 with the cover and back sheets in an expanded configuration;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view taken substantially as indicated along the line 88 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view taken substantially as indicated along the line 9-9 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the diaper of FIG. 7 in a partly expanded configuration; and

FIG. 11 is a perspective view partly brokenaway of the diaper of FIG. 7 in an expanded configuration.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, a diaper designated generally 20 is shown having a fluid pervious cover sheet 22, such as a nonwoven material, a fluid impervious back sheet 24, and an absorbent pad 26 positioned intermediate the sheets 22 and 24. The back sheet 24 is secured to the cover sheet 22 adjacent the lateral and longitudinal edges of the diaper .28 and 30, respectively, to form an envelope for retaining the pad 26 in position, and provide the diaper 20 .with a generally planar and rectangular shape.

The back sheet 24 has a plurality of pleats 32 extending laterally across the diapers 20 in its central region, or the region substantially midway between the lateral edges 28, and the pleats 32 are tacked, such as byheat seals or adhesive spots 34, adjacent the. longitudinal edges 30 of the diaper 20. Similarly, the cover sheet22 has a laterally extending pleat 36 in the central region of the diaper 20. The absorbent pad 26 has a generally rectangular shape and extends substantially between the lateral and longitudinal edges 28 and 30 of the diaper 20.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, prior to application of the diaper 20 to an infant, the cover and back sheets 22 and 24 are longitudinally stretched by grasping and pulling .thediaper adjacent the lateral edges 28. If the absorbent pad 26 is made from a relatively strongmaterial, such as cellulose wadding, then the lateral edges of the pad 26 are preferably spaced slightly from the edges of diaper 28, as shown in FIG. 3, in order that the lateral edge of the diaper may readily be grasped without grasping the lateral edges of the pad for stretching the diaper. However, if the pad 26 is made from a relatively soft material, such as wood fluff, the lateral edges of the pad may extend to the lateral edges of the diaper,since such pads may be ruptured during expansion of the diaper without affecting its absorptive capacity.

Since the cover and back sheet pleats 36 and 32 are secured at the longitudinal edges 30 of the diaper 20,

the longitudinal edges 30 remain a fixed length during stretching of the sheets. However, the cover and back sheet pleats 36 and 32 unfold intermediate the longitudinal edges 30 responsive to expansion of the diaper, and the longitudinal distance between the diaper lateral edges 28 through the center of the diaper increases relative to the length of the longitudinal edges 30 after the diaperis expanded. Accordingly, the generally planar diaper, as shown in FIGS. 1,3, is transformed to an arcuate configuration, and the longitudinal diaper edges 30 bow inwardly in thecentral region of the diaper adjacent the back sheet seals 34. Thus, the lateral diaper edges 28 remain of constant length during expansion of the diaper for securing the diaper about the waistline of the infant, while the distance laterally across the diaper in the central region reduces, in order that the edges 30 have a contour which generally conforms to the contour of the infants body about the legs from the crotch region to the babys waistline. Accordingly, when the expanded diaper is placed on the infant, the longitudinal diaper edges 30 form a close sealing contact with the babys body to prevent the escape of fluids. Moreover, the backsheet 24 of the expanded diaper assumes a pouch-like configuration to prevent interference of bulk in the diaper with movement of the infants legs and to provide a fluid-retention chamber for body wastes.

Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, in which similar reference numerals are increased by 100 from those in FIGS. 1-4. In this embodiment, the absorbent pad 126 has an elongated shape longitudinally along the diaper. The pad 126 has an enlarged central portion 160 in the crotch region of the diaper, and a pair of tapered end portions 162 which extend longitudinally from the central portion 160 toward the lateral diaper edges 128. The pad 162 is secured to the back sheet 124 by means 161, such as adhesive, to prevent the pad from sliding within the cover and back sheets 122 and 124. As shown in FIG. 6, the cover and back sheets of the diaper 120 expand in a similar fashion to those in the diaper 20 of FIGS. 1-4, and the diaper is transformed from a generally planar to arcuate configuration, with the longitudinal diaper edges 130 bowing inwardly in the central region of the diaper. However, the elongated and tapered shape of the absorbent pad 126 additionally causes the back sheet 124 to assume a tray-like shape, such that the pad 126 is nested between longitudinally extending folds 163 in the back sheet 124. Thus the expanded back sheet 124 forms a pair of upraised side portions 164 which remain relatively closely spaced to the cover sheet 122, while the pad 126 is positioned in a central recessed portion of the back sheet which extends longitudinally in the diaper between the folds 163. Since the pad 126 does not extend the full lateral distance of the diaper 120 between the edges 130, the folds 163 of the back sheet 124 partially overlie the pad 126, and the longitudinal diaper edges 130 are permitted to move closely together in the crotch region of the diaper. Additionally, the tray-like shape formed by the back sheet due to the shape of the pad 126 forms a convenient pouch for the collection of waste from the body.

Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7-11, and as shown in FIGS. 7-9 the diaper 220 has a fluid impervious back sheet 224 secured to a fluid impervious cover sheet 222 adjacent the lateral edges 228 of the diaper. The back sheet 224 has a plurality of laterally extending pleats 232 in the central region of the diaper, and the cover sheet 222 has a laterally ex- 6 222 and 224. The pad means 280 has a plurality of absorbent pads 282 which havestaggered portions 284 in the central region of the diaper. The staggered portions 284 are secured together in the central region of the diaper, such as by adhesive, at a pair of laterally spaced positions 286.

The diaper 220 has a pair of longitudinally extending flaps 290 which partially overlie lateral portions of the cover sheet 222, and the flaps 290 are adhered to the cover sheet 222 at a pair of laterally spaced positions 292 in the central region of the diaper to retain the flaps 290 in position. The flaps 290 have arcuate edges extending longitudinally between the lateral edges 228 of the diaper 220, such that the flaps are more narrow in the central region of the diaper than at the diaper lateral edges 228.

One manner in which the arcuate shaped edges may be formed is described as follows. First, a lateral cut is made on each longitudinal side of the pad means adjacent the center of the diaper, with the cut on each side entending inwardly for some distance from the longitudinal edge of the pad means. Next, the sides of the pad means are overlapped at the margin of its longitudinal edges, such that a pair of flaps is folded over on each side of the pad means along fold lines extending from the inner edge of the cut to adjacent the comers of the pad means. Finally, the cover sheet 222, and then the back sheet, are folded over the fold lines in the pad means and secured in place. Accordingly, the fold lines in the pad means primarily define the arcuate shape of the flap edges 294.

As illustrated in FIG. 10, the diaper 220 is expanded by grasping the lateral edges 228, including the edges of the cover sheet 222, the back sheet 224 and the pad means 280, and by stretching the diaper longitudinally, as indicated by the arrows in the drawing. During expansion the pleats of the cover and back sheets 236 and 232 unfold, and the pad means 280 forms a bulked configuration, as described in my copending application Expandable Article, which has been previously referred to in the specification. As shown in FIG. 11, when the diaper 220 is expanded the arcuate shape of the flap edges 294 is further enhanced, and the flap edges 294 flare outwardly from the central region of the diaper to the lateral diaper edges 228. The flap edges 294 remain relatively closely spaced in the diaper crotch region, while they become widely spaced along the lateral diaper edges 228. Thus, the flap edges 294 in the expanded diaper generally conform to the contour of the infants body to provide a close sealing contact of the diaper with the body and prevent the escape of fluids.

The foregoing detailed description is given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

I claim:

1. A contourable diaper comprising:

a fluid pervious cover sheet having at least one laterally extending pleat in the central region of the dia- P a fluid impervious back sheet secured to said cover sheet adjacent the lateral and longitudinal edges of said diaper, with said secured sheets having a generally rectangular shape, said back sheet having at least one pleat in the central region of the diaper extending laterally across the back sheet, with the pleats in the back and cover sheets being tacked adjacent the longitudinal edges of the diaper; and

an absorbent pad positioned intermediate said cover and back sheets and extending at least throughout the crotch region of the diaper, said diaper transforming from a generally planar shape to an arcuate configuration responsive to longitudinal expansion of said sheets, with the longitudinal edges of said sheets bowing inwardly in the central region of the diaper to generally conform to the contour of an infants body.

2. The contourable diaper of claim 1 wherein said absorbent pad is generally rectangular and extends substantially between the lateral and longitudinal edges of the diaper.

3. The contourable diaper of claim 1 wherein said absorbent pad is elongated longitudinally along said diaper, said pad havingan enlarged central portion in the crotch region of the diaper and a pair of tapered end portions extending longitudinally from said central portion toward the lateral edges of the diaper.

4. In an expandable diaper having an expandable back sheet, an expandable cover sheet, and expandable pad means positioned between said sheets, including a plurality of absorbent pads having staggered portions in the central region of the diaper, with said staggered portions being secured together in at least a pair of spaced positions laterally across the diaper, said diaper having a pair of longitudinal flaps adhered to said cover sheet in the central region of the diaper, the improvement in which comprises, said flaps having arcuate edges extending longitudinally along the diaper, with said flaps narrowing in the central region of the diaper, whereby said flap edges generally conform to the contour of an infants body after expansion of said diaper.

5. in a longitudinally expandable diaper having an ab sorbent pad, a cover sheet, a back sheet secured to said cover sheet with said pad being positioned intermediate the cover and back sheets, and a pair of longitudinal flaps at least partially overlying and secured to said cover sheet, the improvement in which comprises, said flaps having arcuate edges extending longitudinally obtain said arcuate shaped edges in the diaper flaps.

. UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,776,233 Dated December 4, 1.973

lnventofls) Charles H. Sohaar It is certified that error appears iii the above-idehtified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 4,- line 19, change"180" to -280-- Signed and sealed this 16th day of April 197R.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR C MARSHALL DANN I Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DC scan-m9 i U. 5 GOVERNMENT PRIN ING OFFICE I," O-8-3Sl FOR M FO-1050 (10-69)

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Classifications
U.S. Classification604/385.23, 604/375, 604/365, 604/374
International ClassificationA61F13/15
Cooperative ClassificationA61F2013/4958, A61F13/49413, A61F13/511, A61F13/51466, A61F13/51476
European ClassificationA61F13/514B2A, A61F13/511, A61F13/514C1, A61F13/494A1